Out With the Old, In With the New

In the parashah lectures I delivered last week, I discussed the practice of R. Nosson Adler (of Frankfurt), recorded by his reverential disciple Hasam Sofer, to avoid calling up to the Torah for the aliyah of Levi on the holiday of Succos one who consumes hadash, since by that time of the year, hadash barley […]

Passover Wash Sales

The role that the Stamp Act of 1765 played as a triggering event of the American Revolution is well known; in this post we discuss a connection between stamp acts in general and the Jewish festival of freedom, Passover. As we briefly noted five years ago, the nineteenth century saw a debate over whether a […]

Parashas Kedoshim: A Man’s Word Is His Bond

My weekly halachah column: In parashas Kedoshim (19:36), the Torah commands: “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have”. The plain meaning of hin is a particular measure of volume, but the Talmud (Bava Metzia 49) interprets the word hermeneutically in the sense of hen (“yes”), and thereby derives […]